The Maya people constitute a diverse range of Native Americans in southern Mexico and northern Central America. The overarching term "Maya" is a collective designation to include the peoples of the region that share some degree of cultural and linguistic heritage; however, the term embraces many distinct populations, societies, and ethnic groups that each have their own particular traditions, cultures, and historical identity.
The largest populations of contemporary Maya inhabit Guatemala, Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador, as well as large segments of population within the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Chiapas.
One of the largest group of modern Maya can be found in Mexico's Yucatán state and the neighboring states of Campeche and Quitana Roo. They commonly identify themselves simply as "Maya" with no further ethnic subdivision.
Maya groups in Chiapas include the Tzotzil and Tzeltal, in the highlands of the state, the Tojolabalis concentrated in the lowlands around Las Margaritas, and the Ch'ol in the jungle.
The Maya population in Belize...are divided into the Yucatec, Kekchi, and Mopan.
The Mexican state of Tabasco is home to the Chontal Maya.
The Maya people of the Guatemala highlands include the Achi, Akatek, Chuj, Ixil, Jakaltek, Kaqchikel, K'iche', Mam, Poqomam, Poqomchi', Q'anjob'al, Q'eqchi', Tz'utujil and Uspantek. The southeastern region of Guatemala includes groups such as the Ch'orti'. The northern lowland Petén region includes the Itza.